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Tales from Farmville: Samascott Orchards

As one of the Columbia Greenmarket’s biggest fans, Bwog likes to stop and chat with the lovely people who supply us with farm fresh produce. This week, Zoe Camp met with the good people of Samascott Orchards—you may know it as the booth with the awesome apple cider.

We may be more than halfway into fall, but- fear not- there are still plenty of apples to be had. And while they’re delicious to snack on by themselves, there’s some real magic in sticking a bunch of them in a pot and slow cooking them until they produce that delicious autumnal elixir (apple cider, friends!) And some of the best is to be found at the Samascott Orchards stand at the Morningside Heights Farmer’s Market. Every Thursday and Sunday, Gary Samascott and his associates sell some of the area’s best cider to students and area residents. Bwog got a chance to speak with Samascott and find out what goes into this beloved fall drink.

Bwog: What goes into your cider?

Samascott: Basically, the apples available for sale are the best of the crop—they have less nicks, blemishes, etc. An apple with a small physical imperfection on it may not be quite good enough to sell on its own, but it’s still just as delicious, and perfect for cider. Of course, there was a hard freeze this year, so we couldn’t be so picky, but those apples usually make it into the cider, along with what we don’t sell by the end of the day.

Bwog: What types of apples make the best cider?

Samascott: Generally, larger apples are tastier and make better cider than smaller ones. We like to have a nice blend of sweet and tart apples.

Bwog: How much cider do you go through in a given day?

Samascott: We easily sell up to 80 half-gallons a day. The hot cider always sells well too, especially on these cold days.

Bwog: Where do you guys grow your apples? What’s your typical farmer’s market day like?

Samascott: We’re located out in Kinderhook, NY. On a market day, I’m up at 4:30 in the morning. Definitely some long days.

All that hard work has its payoff, however—delicious, rich apple cider and relatively inexpensive, too. It’s perfect with some cider donuts or apple cake. Some of Samascott’s associates claim that their cider goes well with rum—watch out, Four Loko.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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